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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 1, March 2019

Praniti Gulyani
New Delhi, India

Things Missing in a New Life

I open the door of my apartment, and switch on the lights, tired after a long day at work. I flop onto my bed. The pillow seems a little too hard, and I find myself longing for Amma's lap.

I remember her whispering, "You be the most beautiful princess ever . . ." into my ears, when I was a child. I'd ask her how beautiful Goddess Sita was, and then she'd insist that I was the most beautiful one. I had freckled skin, dark circled eyes, and long, rough hair. Yet, she called me beautiful.

My dreams crowd into my thinking space, rolling down the aisles of my mind like circular wheels. In these circular wheels, the starting point is Amma, and the ending point is Amma.

But, I am a long way from Amma, here in a superficial land. Somehow, I cannot help remembering the yellow turmeric and the cow-dung coated walls of her house. I also remember the softness of her gentle, melodious voice.

My automated alarm-clock wakes me up, and the very feminine robotic voice guides me to work every day, telling me the fastest route to my office. There's no one to tell me that eating the creamy layers of coconut is good for my health.

I try and take myself back to Amma's palace, the two rooms with sandalwood furniture, and a bunch of flowers in the middle. I cannot recollect the vibrantly coloured sari that she wore.

But, I face no difficulty in recollecting the taste of her cough in the air, the bit of cough that lingered; after she broke into one of her coughing fits. After all, I could taste the bitterness of her dark, green medicine in that bit of cough. But, she said that she didn't find the medicine so bitter, “Because,” she said, “at night, Goddess Sita, sprinkles a bit of magic into it.”

flower gathering
finding better roses



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